T. F. Library Report Says 'Depression Reading' Ends
Circulation Back to Normal---Report Omitted From Town Volume As Result of Misunderstanding
TURNERS FALLS- If the number of people using their leisure time for reading
is any index of economic conditions, then the depression is over as far as the
Carnegie public library is concerned. The circulation, which was extremely high
during the past two years, has dropped back to normal, and the reading rooms
are seldom crowded, according to information contained in the annual report
of the librarian, Miss Edith L. Barber, made public for the first time today.
Owing to a misunderstanding, this report was not included in the annual town
The total circulation in 1934 was 56,854, a decrease from the previous year,
when circulation mounted to 64,485. Adult fiction circulation was 30,900, whereas
in 1933 it had been 46,884. During the worst years of the depression, according
to the librarian, townspeople apparently found reading the most economical means
of amusement, and the library was in constant use, with the reading room crowded
both morning and evening. Even juvenile fiction circulation, usually a constant
gainer, showed a distinct decline, dropping form 10,105 in 1933 to 9,720 in
Circulation was at its highest in March of last year, when 5,665 books were
taken from the library while the lowest month was September, with a circulation
of 3,550. On Jan. 1, 1934, there were 13,661 books on hand, with 925 being added
during the year. A total of 1,361 were discarded, leaving on the shelves at
the first of this year a total of 13,225 volumes. Miss Barber stated that approximately
2,300 borrowers' cards were in use, with one card sometimes serving several
"Crowded conditions still presist, however," says the report, "and
although a great deal of weeding out of old books has been done, it is often
had to find a place for returned books, to kept the library in an orderly condition."
Books removed from the shelves are disposed of in various ways. Some are merely
worn out and thrown away, while a few others, of no interest, meet the same
fate. Others, which were once popular and might still be wanted occasionally,
are stored away, and the fact recorded on the cards. A number of books have
also been loaned to the Millers Falls? And Bernardston libraries, as well as
to the Montague city school.
Gifts of books and magazines during the year came from the drama committee
of the Woman's club, Mrs. Frederick Chapin of Gill, Mrs. James A. Gunn, Miss
Marguerite Farren, J. E. Waterhouse, Donald Smith, Mrs. H. R. Sargent, Mrs.
Richard Stoughton, and Miss Margaret Berard.
"Attention is also called, "said Miss Barber, "to the fine pictures
purchased for teachers' use. They have not had the circulation they deserved."